By Tracy Yekaghe ([email protected])

Four winners have emerged in the Abuja edition of the final selection at the   GITEX 2023 North Star Pitch Competition which held Tuesday May 2, 2023 inside the the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), one of NITDA’s [National Information Technology Development Agency] ]special purpose vehicles created to promote research and development in emerging/emerged technologies.

The four winners emerged top after a gruelling pitch sessions involving 30 listed startups that had made the final pitch run for the Abuja edition of the selection process; all assessed by a jury of four judges.

RELATED: Inaugural GITEX Africa sells-out, organiser in final expansion phase to meet high global tech interests in Africa

Those 30 made the initial selection process by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from the nearly 200 applications that were received.


The four winners are:

  1. Touch And Pay led by Michael Oluwole and crowned the overall winner;
  2. ToJu led by Sodiq Tijani ranked 2nd;
  3. Gifty Digital Shop Maker led by Victor Akpan at 3rd position; and
  4. Agrovesto led by Bayo Adewoye ranked 4th.

The four winners will enjoy full sponsorship to GITEX AFRICA holding in Marrakech, Morocco 31 May – 2 June 2023 and  North Star, GITEX GLOBAL holding in  Dubai, UAE October 16-20, 2023.


According to Oluwole, Touch And Pay focuses on digitising micro transactions in Africa.

Other startups that pitched included Afristar, Gaozim App, Stugo, SISPAY, Coreline Technology, Nearpays, and Lutricts IoT.

Others are LAXSOUL, Stem Academy, Dark Robotics, Doorstep Deliveries, OneCenter, Hydronamics, CNX247, EasyBuy4Me, Frankbotics, Wizabama, BetaLife, and Topcity’s Onions

According to the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi during the opening remark, NITDA is expressly committed to partnering with the DWTC and other stakeholders to continuously promote the startup ecosystem.

He said the huge number of applications received underscored the encouraging interest of young people in technology innovation to solve societal challenges in entrepreneurial ways which the NITDA has persistently spurred.

The NITDA boss who was represented by the agency’s Director, Corporate Planning & Strategy, Dr. Aristotle Onumo, noted that DWTC had been in partnership with NITDA for more than a decade supporting the growth of startups and also helping the inflow of foreign direct investment to Nigeria as a country.

He urged the four winners who emerged to leverage the exciting new opportunities as young innovators.

During his Keynote on ‘GITEX: A Gateway to Limitless Opportunities in the UAE,  Mr. Dami Adebayo who is a research specialist from the UAE Embassy stressed that ICT forms part of the ‘Positive List’ of sectors with limitless opportunities for investment in the UAE.

Ms. Ajibike Jimoh, the Head of Programs at the Ventures Park who was also one of the judges told IT Edge News.Africa that it was difficult to give an overhead rating since each innovator presented differently and had good, unique presentations.

According to her, there were situations where the innovators communicated their solutions eloquently and with so much conviction that even the audience were excited about.

However, she observed that some startup competitors seemed shaky which did not communicate dedication to the vision; all of which impacted on their overall score.

In his Vote of Thanks, National Coordinator, Office for Nigeria Digital Innovation under the NITDA, Yakubu Musa, said NITDA remains committed to partnership to grow the sector even as he urged the winners to see the new opening for them as a significant development in their growth path.

Organised by the DWTC owners of GITEX GLOBAL, in partneship with NITDA, the event is designed to discover top of the rank African startups so as to expose them to global investors, mentors and partners.

Akande Ojo, president, Pinnacle Global Business Services Limited, an investment advisory & event management company and the sole representative, Nigeria and West Africa for the DWTC, earlier in his welcome remark,  said the event was designed to highlight the strength of Nigeria’s startup community and draw attention on the need for collaboration.

The Abuja event begins the signing off of the 2023 edition of the DWTC GITEX Africa Startup Roadshow. The DWTC opened application portal weeks back for African startups to participate at the GITEX 2023 North Star Pitch Competition.

The Final Pitch Day for pre-selected startups for the Lagos Zone is holding 12th May, 2023. Four winners will also be sponsored from the Lagos zone scheduled to hold inside Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.

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